For long, Sachin had answered for our prayers more often than not on the cricket field but also for long, he remained silent on many feelings (questions) from fans.
“I feel those who say you should retire at the top are selfish. Because when you are at the top, you should serve the country instead of retiring.” – Sachin Tendulkar said in one of the press interview. There was no information for which specific question Sachin answered like this, but in this article, it was mentioned that it was about retirement talk.
Leave about all the remaining stuff’s in that article and concentrate on the words I bolded in the above quote. It doesn’t matter what the questions once you get the real meaning for those words. If you decode that quote into cricketing sense, it will look somewhat similar to this, “When you are performing very well, then you should play for your team instead of taking rest.”
Retiring is similar to resting actually. Because, in both the cases, you are literally telling the selectors don’t consider them for selection. I don’t remember exactly when BCCI actually said that Sachin will be allowed to pick the series he wants to play but I think it was right after India became No.1 in test rankings (Dec 2009). So, I will consider the matches India played from Jan 2010.
From 01 Jan 2010 to till today, India had played 29 test matches and 72 ODI’s. Out of that, Sachin had played in 26 test matches and just 23 ODI’s (1032 runs at 46.90 avg and 4 100’s).
ODI’s Sachin Missed/Opted out:
- Tri-series in Bangladesh (India, Srilanka and Bangladesh), Jan 2010 – Srilanka won. India lost in final. In the previous series (vs Srilanka, Dec 09), Sachin scored 216 runs at an avg of 72.00 from 4 matches. Sachin opts out of this tournament.
- Tri-series in Zimbabwe (India, Zimbabwe and Srilanka), May-June 2010 - Srilanka won. India won just 1 match out of 4 and failed to qualify for final. Most of the first choice Indian players missed the tournament due to IPL workload. Sachin scored 618 runs at an avg of 47.53 in the IPL, Mar- Apr 2010.
- Asia Cup, Jun 2010 – India won the cup. Again Sachin opts out of the tournament.
- Tri-series in Srilanka (India, Srilanka and New Zealand), Aug 2010 – Srilanka won and India lost in the final. Third tournament in a row, Sachin didn't play.
- India vs Australia, 3 match series, Oct 2010 – India won (1-0). Sachin rested again and he actually scored 403 runs at 134.33 avg from two matches in the test series against Australia.
- India vs New Zealand, 5 match series, Nov-Dec 2010 – India won (5-0) and Sachin was rested again for this series.
- South Africa vs India, 5 match series, Jan 2011 – India lost (2-3). Sachin was ruled out of the series due to Injury after playing in the first two matches.
- West Indies vs India, 5 match series, Jun 2011 – India won (3-2). Sachin got rested again. Prior to this series, Sachin scored 482 runs at 53.55 avg in world cup and 553 runs at 42.53 avg in IPL.
- NatWest Series (India and England), Sep 2011 – India lost (0-3). Sachin was ruled out due to toe injury.
- India vs England, 5 match series, Oct 2011 – India won (5-0). Sachin was not recovered from injury.
- India vs West Indies, 5 match series, Nov-Dec 2011 – India won (4-1). Sachin was rested again for ODI series after he scored 218 runs at 43.60 avg from 3 test matches vs WI in Nov 2011.
All the three test matches Sachin missed were against West Indies during the last year away test series. As I mentioned earlier, he was in awesome form during that period.
|Sir, Can we get the answer as clear as you hit the cricket ball?|
Now tell me, is I understood something wrongly here or something is being hidden by Sachin Tendulkar or BCCI? 8 out of the 11 series/tournaments I listed, Sachin either got rested or opted out.
The reason mentioned for resting Sachin in some of the series before world cup 2011 was precisely to keep him fit for world cup. But then why did he play in IPL 2010? Or as per Sachin statement, when he is at his best, why did he took rest from playing for India but not for Mumbai Indians?
The reason Sachin Tendulkar mentioned for skipping the whole 2011 WI tour is, “I want to spend time with my family”. Nothing wrong and we all love our families. But you just came out of the world cup as second top leading scorer of the tournament which obviously means you are playing very well, then why opt out of national call (or service)? Could have easily skipped IPL and spent valuable time with family when it is actually holidays for both his children.
I am not saying here or meant anywhere that Sachin is selfish. Playing in IPL and resting for International series is all but his choice. But why don’t spill out the beans? Thing is, we as nation and fans need some meaningful answer. Why did he skip lot of ODI series when he is at the top form? Injury concerns? Then, why play in IPL? Are sponsors and BCCI forced him to play in IPL? Or is statement of “serving the nation when you are at the top” by him is made up of just words to keep people quiet from asking him about retirement?
Far too long, we are just been restricted to listeners in the game of cricket in India. But truth is we are the prime stake holders of the game, so why hide truth from us?